KT Rolster will become the first esports stars to carry the Olympic torch as part of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games torch relay.
The Korean League of Legends team announced on Twitter that each member of the five man squad will carry the torch for three minutes apiece. The torch relay takes place on the 15th and KT Rolster are encouraging fans to come out and cheer their idols on.
[ kt 프로게임단 2018 평창 동계 올림픽 성화 봉송 안내 ]
2018 평창 동계 올림픽이 얼마 남지 않았습니다!
오는 1월 15일에는 kt 프로게임단 선수들이 성화 봉송 주자로 참여하게 되었는데요, 팬 여러분도 참석하셔서 이 영광스러운 자리를 함께 빛내 주시면 감사하겠습니다 🙂 pic.twitter.com/LRYJgqLjNE
— kt Rolster (@KTRolster_tw) January 6, 2018
The carrying of the torch undoubtedly marks a first for esports, but it’s unsurprising that Korea is the country to do it. Esports is, of course, very well known and respected by a bulk of the country compared to other countries such as the United Kingdom. KT Rolster, who will head into the new split with Smeb, Score, Pawn, Deft and Mata recently became champions of the KeSpa Cup, defeating rivals Longhzu Gaming in the grand final to take the title.
It’s not the first esports related news around the PyeongChange games, however. Back in November, Intel announced that the Intel Extreme Masters would be heading to Korea ahead of the Winter Olympic Games.
IEM PyeongChang will be supported by the IOC and will see Ubisoft’s “Steep: Road to the Olympics”, the official licensed game of the Olympic Winter Games and Starcraft II played. Additionally, Intel will deliver what it c alls “interactive gaming experiences” and there will be game kiosks with the “Steep: Road to the Olympics” game set up throughout the Olympic Village and visitor areas.
There’s still rumbles as to whether esports will be included in the Olympics. Many esports fans aren’t overly bothered, but we continue to see headlines regarding the IOC’s stance on esports.
Esports Insider says: Whilst relatively insignificant, it’s still cool to see esports stars recognised on the biggest stages. Olympic torch relays are often dominated by traditional athletes and celebrities (and so on) so five Korean stars will likely draw a big crowd. We’d love to see a small highlight clip of their reception.